Posted on 06th June 2011 by Media Relations
At Bird Show we are currently
training two new additions for our show, Major
Mitchell Cockatoos, ‘Big’ and ‘Bounce’. ‘Big’ and ‘Bounce’, hatched in
October of last year and so have a lot of learning and growing up to do.
Learning good manners, such as when it is appropriate to bite is part of this.
Hopefully this is never. Their trainers Fle and Claudia are working with them,
ensuring they are comfortable stepping up onto the
keepers’ hands and into animal
transport packs. This will help us when training our birds to free-fly and also
if they have to visit the vets. Transport training is a great project to work
on with your pet parrot too.
If you’ve ever had a parrot as a
pet, you’d already know they can be a lot of work. Parrots can be extremely
loud, sociable and energetic, but generally of more concern to pet owners is
the fact that parrots can bite, and bite hard! This does not mean you have a
‘bad bird’ but rather gives both you and your parrot the opportunity to better
develop the relationship you have. They are trying to tell you something!
When a parrot bites this is a
concern for two reasons; from the owners’ perspective it hurts (!), but from
the parrots point of view, this is the final and most obvious way to let us
know they’d like some alone time. Prior to biting there are a whole bunch of
behaviours your companion bird will give, but if you are not used to them, you
may not notice and accidently get bitten. If you can become aware of what
happens before your parrots bites, you can change this and hopefully avoid the
undesirable biting behaviour.
If you’re parrot wants alone
time, let them have it. This gives your bird choice and makes the time you
spend together more rewarding for them. By giving them a small treat like a
sunflower seed each time makes it even more rewarding. At Bird Show we only
give sunflower seeds as special treats, not in their general diet due to their
incredibly high fat content. Imagine only being able to eat ‘Mars Bars’! How
would you feel then? When they are limited, the seeds are much better rewards.
As ‘Big’ and ‘Bounce’ have
reminded us, parrots require tonnes of things to occupy their time so they do
not become bored, but also need alone time too. Don’t push it, give your
parrots space and next time they bite, take a step back and ask yourself ‘what
did I do to cause him to bite?’ I think you’ll find your relationship will take
leaps and bounds.
Bird Trainer, Brendan